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Philips is top climate criminal: Greenpeace

Incandescent bulbs are responsible for the highest quantity of avoidable carbon dioxide emissions.

business Updated: May 01, 2007 00:33 IST

Greenpeace on Monday released 'The Greenpeace Guide to Climate Safe Lighting', a ranking guide for the Indian lighting industry, naming and shaming those manufacturers whose incandescent bulbs are responsible for the highest quantity of avoidable carbon dioxide emissions.

Philips which sells the highest number of incandescent bulbs in the market outnumbered its competitors by a huge margin and was ranked the number 1 climate criminal followed by Surya and Bajaj who stood second and third respectively.

"This ranking guide is a report card on how the lighting industry fares in its response to the biggest threat the planet is faced with today, the threat of Climate Change, and honestly the results are dismal!" said K Srinivas, Climate and Energy Expert, Greenpeace. "Industry needs to wake up to the realities of Climate Change right away. Inaction is not an option and in fact it could set our economy on a downward spin if we don't face up to the challenge right now."

Following the press conference, Greenpeace took the message to the heart of corporate India by erecting a podium at the financial hub of the country, the Bombay Stock Exchange and presented the Climate Criminal awards to the top 3 climate villains. The branded bulbs stepped on to the winners stand to collect their trophies of ignominy.

The ranking is primarily based on net avoidable carbon emissions. The guide also compares companies on their overall bulb efficacy to rate their commitment towards Energy Efficiency, Avoiding carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency are the critical steps to fighting climate change.

"It is illuminating that Philips, a company that projects itself as a responsible corporate citizen and boasts of having a strong environmental policy, is the leading Climate Criminal in our assessment. Now that their bluff is called it is time they get proactive and commit to phasing out the hazardous light bulb in the interest of the planet and its people," added Srinivas. In the fiscal year 2005/06, Philips manufactured just 12 million Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) as against 163 million incandescent light bulbs (GLS).

An incandescent light bulb uses only 10% of the energy it consumes to produce light, the remaining 90% is wasted in the form of heat. In comparison to an incandescent bulb, a CFL consumes around 20% of electricity to produce the same amount of light. By just banning the bulb, India could save up to 12000 MW of electricity, leading to a reduction of almost 4% in its CO2 emissions.

Greenpeace calls on the lighting industry, especially the biggest contributors to climate change Philips, Surya and Bajaj, to take responsibility and immediately announce a plan to phase out the hazardous GLS lamps by 2010. This will not only solve a significant part of the country's power problem but also considerably reduce India's CO2 emissions.